I’ve been looking over Legends & Lore (2nd Edition) to get some ideas in my head for what I will eventually do with the deities presented in it, and I must say, the gameplay information is pretty lackluster. The avatars are fairly statistically unimaginitive and unvaried, the specialty priest abilities and requirements are both very basic and at times rather overpowered (quite a few get a daily Raise Dead, and I can’t really see why; another priesthood immediately advances to 11th level upon gaining 10th). And the circles gained by priests (especially in the Native American mythos) are abysmal! (Priests of Sun have major access to All, Sun, and minor access to two others. *That’s it.*) Anyway, I’ll probably revamp them almost entirely when I get around to working on them.
Time for another deity write-up; this time it is Squerrik, the Wererat god. Upon reading through what had been written on wererats and Squerrik himself, I was surprised no one had drawn upon some obvious folk mythology. So I decided to add it in. :) I also modeled some elements of the priesthood and culture after aspects of rats themselves, since it seemed fitting.
I was thinking a bit today about how to identify the various real-world pantheons while avoiding real-world ethnic names (i.e. Celt, Greek). For example, for the Greek pantheon, they can be referred to as the Olympians and the Titans. Ideally this would be the name these gods use to refer to themselves. So let’s run down what I know of for sure:
Greek = Olympians, Titans
Celt = Tuatha de Danaan
Egyptian = Pesedjet (added 04/13) or Netjeret (8/26)
Finnish = ?
Norse = Aesir, Vanir
Chinese = Celestial Bureaucracy
Indian = ? (Vedic is used, but it isn’t a proper noun; you can’t say “he’s a member of the Vedic”)
Japanese = ?
Native American = ?
Central American = (Aztec, Mayan, etc.)
Sumerian/Babylonian = (See below)
Now, there are some conspicuously missing pantheons that I would eventually like to work on, and those are:
Mesopotamian (aka Sumerian/Akkadian [Assyrian and Babylonian]) = Anunnaki/Igigi
Hittite = ?
Hurrian/Urartian = ?
Aegian (Minoan/Etruscan/Cypriot) = ?
Roman = ?
Clearly I need to do some more research on these mythologies. I’m open to suggestions.
Sorry for the delay on this one. When writing about Trishina, I drew heavily upon what had been written for Deep Sashelas, since the two faiths are so closely intertwined. I also based aspects on Eldath, since I saw that there are a number of similarities between their faiths and attitudes. Overall, Trishina was another really fun one to write, and gave an opportunity to explore some aspects of cetacean culture, including some very unusual ones in the Spelljammer setting.
Okay, it is time to finally quantify what I’m planning for Draconic Specialty Priests before I work on any of the dragon deities. This method is a mixing of the dragon-priest class from Council of Wyrms and the Specialty Priest from Cult of the Dragon (which I find too limiting).
Dragons may elect to become Specialty Priests at any time during the hatchling age category, or upon achieving a new age category. That age category becomes known as the first age category. Subsequent age categories are called second age category, third age category, etc. All granted powers are given in terms of the required relative age category of the draconic priest.
Shadow dragons, for example, typically can first cast priest spells when they are mature adults, thus, they would have to elect to become a specialty priest no later than achieving that age category. A shadow dragon who becomes a priest at that point would reach the sixth age category upon attaining great wyrm status. Red dragons, on the other hand, can typically first cast priest spells when they are of venerable status. Thus a typical red dragon could elect to become a specialty priest no later than that. Upon becoming a specialty priest, dragons then begin utilizing the spell progression granted to dragon-priests in the Council of Wyrms campaign setting.
For example, a dragon starting off at hatchling could max out at “level (age category) 12,” but if they started at age category 3 (Young), they’d max out at “level (age category) 10,” thus missing out on 7th level priest spells (not necessarily a big deal, some of the more popular gods are Lesser gods anyway).
That is compared to the Cult of the Dragon Specialty Priest information as follows:
The age category at which a dragon first receives priest spells determines when it can become a specialty priest of a draconic power. This age category is called the first age category. Subsequent age categories are called second age category, third age category, etc. All granted powers are given in terms of the required relative age category of the draconic priest.
Shadow dragons, for example, typically can first cast priest spells when they are mature adults. A typical shadow dragon would reach the sixth age category upon attaining great wyrm status. Red dragons, on the other hand, can typically first cast priest spells when they are of venerable status. Thus a typical red dragon could never reach higher than the third age category, which it could achieve upon reaching great wyrm status. Note that in very rare cases, some dragons are capable of casting priest spells earlier than their brethren, and they can thus achieve much higher levels of proficiency as specialty priests.
A final addition that was not part of that quote:
“As with all draconic specialty priests, annihilists can cast double the normal number of priest spells granted to a normal dragon of their age and subspecies.”
On the other hand, re-reading this, it looks like there is an out that I misinterpreted before (“Note that in very rare cases, some dragons are capable of casting priest spells earlier than their brethren”); however, the doubling of priest spells doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in that regard, since we have no spell progression for those unique individuals (although it could be left to DM fiat). They could be talking about the Dragon-Priests from Council of Wyrms, I suppose; although that doubling of spells part would then make them reeeeeeeally powerful.
Giantcraft, while fairly poorly designed, actually has a wealth of good information on giantish culture. I found it quite handy for this part of my project, and am looking forward to working on more of the deities, particularly Hiatea. Hopefully, what I’ve written here on Grolantor will inspire people to make some more interesting adventures involving hill giants, mountain giants, or ettins.
Sadly, I could not think of any Spelljammer references to make for him or his priests.